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Amazon Introduces Echo & Echo Dot Spherical Smart Speakers (4th gen, 2020)

All-new Amazon Echo smart speaker offers improved sound quality and faster Alexa responses in a fun new spherical shape.

Modern Crystal Balls

Amazon just announced 4th generation Echo devices with improved sound and new look. The new 2020 Echo smart speakers eschew their original cylindrical look in favor of a new spherical, orb like design. There’s a new Echo and the smaller Echo Dot which come in three variations — with or without clock and a kids edition. Each model instantly brings Alexa into any room in your house, so you can just “Ask Alexa”.

Echo (4th gen)

The all-new Echo (www.amazon.com/Echo) arrives in a 5-inch ball shape, about the same size as a shot put. Still priced at $99, it brings all the features of the previous Echo and adds a built-in smart home hub, which was previously only available with Echo Plus. In addition, sound quality is said to be significantly better thanks to a 3-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and Dolby audio processing. As with Echo Studio, the new Echo automatically senses the acoustics of your space and fine-tunes audio playback—just ask to listen to your favorite music, and the rich, detailed sound will automatically adapt to your room.

Echo 4th Generation – X-ray View

For the first time, Echo comes with a built-in smart home hub, with support for Zigbee, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Amazon Sidewalk. Amazon Sidewalk can help you set up new devices quickly, extend the working range of devices like Ring Smart Lighting that may be beyond the range of your home wifi, and offer new support for devices like Tile to locate misplaced items. The new Echo is powered by Amazon’s first-generation AZ1 Neural Edge processor—an all-new silicon module that’s purpose-built for accelerating machine learning applications. With AZ1, powerful inference engines can run quickly on the edge—starting with an all-neural speech recognition model that will process requests faster, making Alexa even more responsive.

Echo Dot & Echo Dot with clock

The all-new Echo Dot (www.amazon.com/EchoDot) has the same spherical design and fabric finish as Echo, in a smaller size, about that of a softball. Affordably priced at $49, Dot is ideal when sound quality is less of a priority, and Dot with Clock is perfect on a bed side table for $10 more. The popular tap-to-snooze feature now works on any model, including regular Echo. Dot with clock can display time, temperature, timers, and alarms at a glance.

Echo Dot 4th Generation – X-ray View

All 4th gen Echo Dot models have the same 1.6-inch front-firing speaker for sound output. Unlike regular Echo, the Echo Dot doesn’t include a smart home hub, Dolby Audio, or have a line-in — although they do have a 3.5mm line out.

Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th gen)

Echo Dot Kids Edition

The all-new Echo Dot Kids Edition builds on the new spherical design with fun, colorful Panda and Tiger prints. Alexa’s custom-built kids experience means kids can ask Alexa questions, set animal sound alarms, get help with homework, and call approved friends and family, with extensive controls that give parents peace of mind. Parents will also be able to create Alexa voice profiles for their kids, so Alexa automatically shifts to a kid’s profile when she recognizes a kid’s voice—extending the kids experience, and parental controls, to any Echo device in the house. Kids can also enjoy a new Alexa feature called Reading Sidekick. Alexa can help kids build fluency and foster a love for reading—simply say, “Alexa, let’s read,” and Alexa will take turns reading with your child, providing encouragement when they are reading well and offering support when they struggle. Previews of Alexa voice profiles for kids and Reading Sidekick will be available in the coming months.

Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a 1-year Amazon Kids+ subscription, giving families access to thousands of hours of kid-friendly Audible books, interactive games, and educational skills. Echo Dot Kids Edition also comes with a 2-year worry-free guarantee.

Climate Pledge Friendly 

All Echo devices announced today have the Climate Pledge Friendly badge and are built with 100% post-consumer recycled fabric, 100% recycled die-cast aluminum, and post-consumer recycled plastic. Plus, all wood fiber-based materials used in Echo device packaging are made entirely from responsibly managed forests or recycled sources. In addition to using sustainable materials, these Echo devices also have a Low Power Mode to intelligently conserve energy during periods of inactivity and deliver energy savings over the lifetime of the device. Later this year, Alexa will help you see the energy consumed by compatible smart home devices through a new personalized energy dashboard in the Alexa app.

Size & Function Differences

Echo (4th gen)
Echo Dot (4th gen)

Pricing & Availability

All new devices will start shipping on October 22, 2020. Pre-orders are now being accepted.

  • Echo$99.99
    • available in Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue. 
  • Echo Dot – $49.99
    • available in Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue. 
  • Echo Dot with clock$59.99
    • available in Glacier White and Twilight Blue.
  • Echo Dot Kids Edition$59.99
    • available in Panda and Tiger animal designs.

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